Austria’s answer to the pancake breakfast.
From crepes to blinis to okonomiyaki to aebleskiver, it seems that every culture has an excellent answer to the pancake. Kaiserschmarrn is a new one to me – it’s the Austrian version of a pancake, where one large pancake is torn into chunks for serving – and it’s a welcome addition to my pancake regimen. Served with plum compote and/or powdered sugar, it’s a fluffy and sweet breakfast treat and upon making it for the first time, my only regret was that I hadn’t done so sooner.
This is a pancake with an airy bite, and that’s thanks to the egg whites that are whipped up and folded into the batter. While I generally opt for a simpler batter in the morning, the fact that this is cooked up as one large pancake negates the effort of the egg whites – you’re not going to be standing at the stove flipping flapjack after flapjack.
Like a Dutch Baby, this starts in a hot pan filled with melted butter. In this case, it starts on the stove but it finishes up in the oven where (unlike a Dutch Baby) it rises up uniformly into one large fluffy disc (rather than the hills and valleys you get with a Dutch Baby or German pancake). After that, you’ll quarter and flip the pancake and tear or cut it up into bite sized chunks.
Those little pieces give you more surface area for the powdered sugar to fall upon, and they also makes this ever so shareable. Austrian Torn Pancakes are definitely a new fave for me – it’s a truly delicious way to feed a crowd and it’s such an easy way to do it!
Austrian Torn Pancake - Kaiserschmarrn
10m prep time
10m cook time
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup raisins soaked in rum (optional)
- Powdered sugar, for serving
- Jam, applesauce, or compote, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with salt and 1 tablespoon of the sugar until medium peaks form. Don't beat until you reach stiff peaks, as they will be hard to fold into batter.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the milk, vanilla, and remaining sugar. Stir in flour until batter is smooth. Add remaining milk and stir until smooth. If batter is very thick, you can add a touch more milk.
- Add a third of the egg whites and gently stir them in. Add remaining egg whites and gently fold in, trying not to deflate them.
- Heat butter in a 10-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Don't brown the butter.
- Pour batter into hot pan, and spread out evenly. Let cook 1 minute. If using raisins, scatter over the top.
- Transfer skillet to the middle rack of oven and let bake until puffy and golden, 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from oven and set on low heat on stovetop. Cut the pancake into quarters and flip. If the pancake is still pale, let flipped pancake cook until golden.
- Remove from heat if needed and tear quarters into pieces. Transfer to plate and dust generously with powdered sugar. Serve with plum compote, applesauce, or jam. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.